How to Stay on Top of What’s Trending

Trends are some of the key ingredients to social media and promoting business, ideas, awareness and campaigns.  How do we capitalize on current trends and keep track of social media feeds when it all changes so rapidly?

There are some strategies and tips to help you monitor social media and use trends. Social Media the Next Generation 5 Steps to Keep Up

These aren’t rocket science.  It’s about staying connected, online, offline, to your business, and community.  Listening to your audience and what they’re saying.  Learning to follow the right people and seeing what their tweeting about.  Connecting to people in meetings and outside of meetings.  Oh… and of course… talking to “young people”!

7 Ways Ad Agency Pros Stay on Top of Social Media Trends

Of the 7 ways to stay on top of social media trends, the tip I found most useful was the use of an RSS reader (like Google Reader).  I really enjoy reading blog posts but sometimes there isn’t time!  This site has suggested Google Reader can help in following 300+ blog sites by organizing them into categories.  I’m not sure I’m about to go following hundreds of blogs, but I always enjoy tools to help organize and sort through to optimize my time.  Check out How To: Get the most out of Google Reader for more tips.

There’s more tools than just Google Reader!  How about the 5 best apps to staying on top of social media trends that are bound to help!

Do you have any apps you use to follow trends?  Organize your social media feeds?

Once you start to see what’s trending on social is when you can start joining your campaign and capitalizing on media.

Like today, my social media is filled with Robin Williams comments, movies, thoughts, pictures.  It’s no wonder with the sudden news of his death that mental health awareness campaigns will spread their message together with the trending news.

View image on Twitter

 Williams’ death brings mental health issues to the fore

How do you use trends in your business?

Social can be harmful to your health – COM0011 Blog 5

There has been quite a bit of trauma flashing through my social media feeds over the past few days.  I usually enjoy scrolling through my feed, looking at friends cute pictures of their babies, puppies, and vacations on Facebook and Twitter (sometimes rolling my eyes,… what!? They can’t see).  I enjoy the occasional link to a helpful blog post.  It’s light, friendly and social.  When does it turn from informative to traumatic?

pow batman hit



I feel like I’ve been hit by a social media trauma punch.

I no longer have a TV.  I don’t watch the news I do listen to the radio at my own discretion.  I try to limit the amount of traumatic news I listen to as I find it increases my heart rate and my senses start tingling.  I much prefer the vacation post, family pictures, and pet friendly updates littered through my face book. It’s inevitably more calming.  Apparently there’s some science to this.  Since a few highly publicized traumas in Boston and New York, researchers at the University of California have done some investigating into the effects of media related screen time.

The results suggest that exposure to graphic media images may be an important mechanism through which the impact of collective trauma is dispersed widely,” Silver says. “Our findings are both relevant and timely as vivid images reach larger audiences than ever before through YouTube, social media and smartphones.” 1

They are not the only ones concerned about social media and trauma exposure.  The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Center in the United States has tips for media when covering traumatic events;

  • advising the public about safety first
  • educating about managing exposure and timing of broadcasts
  • interviewing children, getting permission and consider children’s expectations
  • helping families help children

More research has been done and the US National Center for PTSD also say that “too much trauma-related television viewing may have a negative impact, especially on children.”  It’s something to be aware of for adults and children when it’s harder and harder to censor the information coming into our worlds.

What about those that go in, when everyone else is running out?

In Canada, paramedics have the highest risk of developing PTSD.  In 2005 a tragic death of a 15 year old girl in Toronto was broad cast over the news.  A Vice author (then 11 years old), clearly recalls the event, remembering the interview showing a paramedic leaving a lasting impact.

I remember watching the flood of TV broadcasts about her death in the days that followed, but what stuck with me wasn’t the black-and-white photo of the high school student used by every news station. Instead, what’s clear in my mind is a brief, maybe 15-second interview with one of the paramedics who first responded to the call. She was talking about how the experience of trying to take care of the dying young girl was haunting her. And while most of the city was mourning Jane Creba’s tragic death, I was left wondering why the paramedic wasn’t being taken care of too.”4

If you do find yourself having difficulty sleeping, getting repeated thoughts or images of events, increased irritability ask for help.  Even those that are trained to help, need help too.

Have you noticed more trauma related news on your social media platforms?

Is this new information?  Does it make you concerned?


1. Repeated exposure to traumatic images may be harmful to health

2. NCTSN Tips for Media Covering Traumatic Events

3. National Center for PTSD

4. Vice: In Canada Paramedics are the most likely to develop PTSD



3 Reasons Why you should Tweet Chat – COM0011 Blog #4

As an EXTROVERT (something I’ve known FOREVER) I enjoy good company and conversation.  I’ve recently learned how to have a new kind of conversation on twitter called a tweet chat or twitter chat and I think you’ll see why you should be having them too!

What is a tweet chat? A tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.

The above quote from The Ultimate Guide To Hosting A Tweet Chat has more descriptions how to host a tweet chat and the benefits to your business.

1 – Connect7 Persistent Myths about Introverts & Extroverts

You can connect with your audience, followers, customers and future customers.  Even if you don’t have many followers on your account you can join with a few key people to co-host the twitter chat (one will moderate)  Gain exposure and expect to end up with new people seeing what you have to say.  It exposes your business to potential new followers and can open you up to a new market.

2 – Promote Your Brand

You can increase your brand awareness and share your knowledge and expertise on the subject.  The more you engage in a topic the more you can gain recognition and create relationships and network.  Participating in chats before you host to get a sense of the flow is important.  Others will be promoting their brand within your chats and can create further networking opportunities.

3 – Keep Informed

Chatting about conversations aligned with your business is important but it may also be important to keep informed on stakeholders, customers and clients.  You may be surprised to find information on common issues in tweet chats as a listener.  Pick a current topic or one that is likely to spark conversation.

Don’t forget to listen!

I did find a great site that lists some healthcare chats.  This could be a great way of organizing chats on a similar topic or joining the conversation when you’re ready.  Personally I’ve just found out about tweet chatting and I think I’ll be looking to join a chat.

Is anyone else thinking of joining a tweet chat conversation?  Does anyone have any experience hosting?  Have you seen any benefits or have any tips?

Cheers to Canada Day – COM0011 #3

With another Canada Day come and gone the opportunity to discuss drinking habits feels missed. When I was working as a Paramedic in Ottawa, Canada Day was one of the busiest days of the year. It’s no doubt alcohol had a lot to do with the amount of calls as the crowds of people flocking to parliament hill for all the festivities, good times, events and the famous ByWard market seems endless. When it’s a beautiful day, the weather has a huge factor on the amount of people celebrating, how long they stay and how much they celebrate. When the heat rises so does the drinking. This year I finally heard some good advice as Mayor Watson suggested how to have a great Canada Day is easy “have water every other one!”  Did you?

Drinking tips…

Keeping hydrated while drinking is especially important when it’s hot out. Unfortunately not everyone is drinking responsibly… I mean what’s not Canadian about having a beer on Canada day? Especially if you’re dressed in red and white head to toe waving your mini flag with your temporary tattoo’s plastered on your face. Awesome. I admit, when I first moved to Ottawa almost a decade ago Canada Day on the hill was something to look forward to all year. I would have visitors from all over begging for a place to stay and there wasn’t a single bar that wasn’t busy. Who’s out there giving responsible drinking tips? Have you heard any?

Drinking in Canada is like a right of passage, a culture of “we deserve it”, “it’s not like I’m smoking” …what is it about alcohol that makes us not want to see the harms of it? We need to talk (about our drinking), an article in the globe and mail was published just before Canada day and I think they said it best about harmful drinking.

“It doesn’t take as much as you may think to qualify – 10 drinks a week for a woman, 15 for a man – face the biggest risks, emerging evidence shows that even moderate amounts are also tied to disease.”

So what?

With all that fun, drinking and celebrations what’s the big deal. Who was telling us that what we were doing had risks? Sounds odd to say risky but when you drink more than a couple you let your guard down and decision making capabilities are hindered by alcohol. You’re more likely to engage in risky behaviour, have unwanted sex, get into a car with another driver who may have been drinking. This may not be new information yet almost a quarter of Ottawa adults are heavy drinking and that number is on the rise. Does that surprise you?

That’s over 160 000 people in Ottawa that are heavy drinkers having 5 or more drinks (binge drinking) on a single occasion at least once a month. Does this shock you?


1. Ottawa Public Health. Substance Misuse in Ottawa: Technical Report. March 2013. Ottawa (ON): Ottawa Public Health; 2013.
2. Report to Board of Health. March 18, 2013. Ottawa ON: Ottawa Public Health; 2013.


COM0011 Blog #2: Video call me, Don’t just call

Faster than the speed of light…

Ok well, that could be an exaggeration.  Technology, communicating and the way we use it with social media is changing faster than… your average person, “cough” I can keep up with!  Along the way there are bound to be some glitches, bumps and mishaps to be worked out.  Learning from others is viral… vital!

Calling past

Recently I watched this clip to break up a work meeting which demonstrates a visual conference call.  I can not stress enough … you need to watch this!  Don’t drink anything while doing so, (or you might spray it back out) and go into a private room if at work .  A Conference Call in Real Life video posted on you tube is out loud hilarious.

Video present

It’s a good thing we’re traveling at the speed of light as this video, Future of video conferencing was posted December 2010 on you tube boasting about the next uses.  By now, it seems common place and ordinary in 2014.  With so many different options on the web and mobile devices it’s easy to video conference (eg. Skype, FaceTime).  Suggesting uses from educating, monitoring businesses, employees reporting to work from alternate locations are incorporated including personal connecting with friends and family at a distance.  It allows such a flexibility to our environment and for face to face communication with anyone instantly without the need for travel.  This type of communication is here to stay.

Video future

I’m already too late!  What I even imagine to be futuristic is current.  The next video imaging explosion could be 3D hologram imaging.  Thanks you tube again, if you skip to 2:15 you’ll get the best part of the 3D Holographic Power Presentation from 2013!  Already it’s sooo last year!

life size hologram projectionI can only imagine that advancements will continue to move at a rapid pace.  Improvements, adaptations, new applications and uses will be pushed beyond what I’ve imagined in the next decade.  Decade…?  It won’t take that long!  ZZZzzzzooom


phone booth image from

iPhone image from

3D hologram image from


.Periods can be confusing at first – COM0011 Blog 1

COM0011 Blog Post #1

Don’t be nervous, periods are natural and might confuse the average twitter user.

Unintentionally your followers may not be getting some of your tweets that you intended to reach.  When you send tweets and want to be sure to include all of your followers, remember this handy tip.  I had no idea twitter had this little quirk until finding this slide show linked to a tweet. 

Humour works.

Who hasn’t felt frustrated and wanted to shout it to the whole world?  If you weren’t actually telling many people it might put a kink in your stomping and pouting plan.  What a great scenario for the average user to relate to.  It clearly shows how to use a period effectively and how it is misused.  On the flip side, I think it will be easy to imagine positive situations you wouldn’t want to miss sharing with everyone.  Such as sharing news, or how cool your new bike looks and not just sharing with the person you are tweeting at.

Social media is connecting us, educating us and still giving us tips how to do it better.  I enjoy learning through other social media outlets and twitter posts, as simple as a tiny period in the right place.

Has social media taught you anything recently?